SciFi SongFest, Songs 265-266

In this extra-long two-parter, a spaceship travels through a black hole and meets the spirits of Apollo and Dionysus. (The fact that the song calls for a balance of the two spirits, rather than a subordination of the latter to the former, shows that even at this early date Neil Peart’s mind was not completely in captivity to Rand.)

The spaceship’s name, Rocinante, is derived from that of Don Quixote’s horse; both would later serve as inspiration for the name of the quixotic protagonists’ spaceship in The Expanse:

265. Rush, “Cygnus X-1, Book I: The Voyage” (1977):

266. Rush, “Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres” (1978):

Left and right hemispheres of the brain, get it?

Of course this doesn’t get either the mythology (Dionysus isn’t the god of love) or the neurophysiology quite right, but whatever.

Some online versions of “Hemispheres” have one audio track missing, but this one seems ok:

Hemispheres was one of the first rock albums I ever bought (because I’d heard it had something to do with Nietzsche and Ayn Rand). (The very first was Billy Joel’s Glass Houses.) (I’m not counting David Matthews’ Dune as a rock album.)

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7 Responses to SciFi SongFest, Songs 265-266

  1. Irfan Khawaja October 15, 2019 at 5:17 pm #

    The first rock record I bought was Styx’s “Paradise Theatre,” but the first I got (came into possession of) was “Glass Houses.”

    • Roderick October 16, 2019 at 12:11 am #

      Are you saying you stole it? Because that’s what I’m hearing.

      • Irfan Khawaja October 16, 2019 at 3:54 pm #

        I thought you didn’t believe in intellectual property?

        • Roderick October 16, 2019 at 10:16 pm #

          “Glass Houses” is intellectual now?

  2. Irfan Khawaja October 15, 2019 at 5:31 pm #

    After I showed her the lyrics to “Hemispheres,” my spoilsport high school English teacher pointed out to me Dionysus isn’t the god of love. I was like FU, lady. If Neil Peart says it’s the god of love, that’s good enough for me.

    Ironically, this same teacher suggested that I read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, which I declined to do because they “were too long” and “interfered with track practice.”

    • Roderick October 16, 2019 at 12:11 am #

      How about Euripides’ Bacchae?

  3. Irfan Khawaja October 15, 2019 at 5:35 pm #

    In a spirit of embarrassing self-disclosure: I went through an Objectivist phase during which I began to think that “Hemispheres” was flawed because it failed to subordinate emotion to reason. I’m proud to say that I have recently outgrown this thought.

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